Moving to university is an exciting time! You’ve no doubt been looking forward to living independently, making new friends and studying a subject you’re passionate about. But this can also be daunting for many students, moving away from the home comfort you’ve been used to.
Loneliness at university isn’t uncommon for students, especially at the beginning. It might be the first time you’re away from family and friends, in an unfamiliar city and having to look after yourselves.
Here are our tips to help you deal with feeling lonely at university.
Avoiding University Loneliness
Meet new people
University is a very social environment. You can meet new people in a few different ways – some of the most common types of new people to meet are:
- Flatmates: depending on the type of student accommodation you choose, you might have some shared facilities and communal areas. Try and spend as much of your free time as you can with other people, especially during Freshers Week, before too many of your university commitments start. Living alone? Don’t be afraid to knock on neighbours’ doors and say hello.
- People on your course: course mates are great because you’ve already got something in common! you probably can’t get to know everyone on your course, but why not start with your tutor group?
- Clubs and societies: chances are there’s an endless list of clubs and societies at your university, for all sorts of weird and wonderful interests. Find out when your societies fayre is, and join ones you like the look of!
Multiple friendship groups
The friendships you make at the start of university can often feel a bit forced. Your first friendship group will probably be the people you live with and near. Some university accommodation will try to allocate you to a room with similar interests, but it can be quite random.
You might realise that you don’t have much in common with the people you live with. And that’s ok. Get to know some people on your course and societies you join. You can never have too many friends!
If you’re feeling lonely at university, keeping busy can be a good distraction. Spending time alone in your room can make it feel worse. If you can keep busy with your coursework, clubs and other social activities, you may notice loneliness gradually passing.
This may not come naturally to you if you’re not the most sociable person, but we highly recommend getting out of your comfort zone and keeping busy.
There are so many benefits of exercise, both physically and mentally. Whether you’re hitting the gym, going for a run in the park or playing a sport, the exercise will do you so much good. And because students aren’t renowned for their healthy diets (late night kebab anyone?!), you’ll thank yourself later for your regular exercise.
Keep in touch with friends and family
Just because you’ve moved away to uni doesn’t mean you should lose contact with friends and family. If you’re feeling a bit lonely, reach out to your friends! Do a weekly call with your family! Seeing and hearing your family and friends can give you a boost – they’ll appreciate the contact as much as you do.
Reach out to someone
Loneliness at university is completely normal, and you won’t be the only one. Give it a bit of time, and it should pass. If it doesn’t, speak to as friend or family member about it. The university might offer mental health and wellbeing services, so it’s worth looking into what’s on offer for you.